a e b
January 24, 2013
the book gets good milage
Moffatt's commentary on 1 Corinthians is part of a series on the New Testament (Moffatt is general editor, but most of the volumes were written by others). Moffatt's commentary is a good mixture of scholarship (somewhat dated now), understanding (excellent) and preaching (still relevant). Internet Archive lists this book as 1890. This is probably the date for the entire series (published one volume at a time). My university library lists this volume as 1900 with a question mark. My local public library lists the book as 1938, which seems far too late for the first publication date. (Moffatt died in 1944, in his mid-70s, and this book reads like the product of a much younger writer). I picked up a copy of this book years ago at a used book sale. From the notations in the inside front of my copy of the book, it seems the third owner bought it in 1955 (no indication of year for prior 2 owners). Moffatt does give us a clue to dating his book. On page 17 Moffatt cites Origen, Contra Celsum, but cites it as Origen, Philocalia, 18. Thus I would place the writing of the text after 1893 (Robinson's edition of the Philocalia was published that year), and probably before about 1906 (after which Moffatt probably would have cited Origen as Contra Celsum, 3.47). Of course, Moffatt could have only had a copy of Philocalia handy when he wrote page 17, in which case the date might be after 1906 (say 1911, a guess made on other evidence).
But issues of date aside, the book has retained its relevance throughout the decades. It is still quite insightful, and repays careful reading. I have reccomended it to people over some more recent commentaries on 1 Corinthians.